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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prominent French Publisher, La Martiniere, Reaches E-Book Detente with Google

La Martiniere, the third largest publisher in France (behind Hachette and Editis), fought a five year battle to stop Google from scanning and selling (mostly out-of-print) copyrighted works willy-nilly ... and they have successfully reached a detente.

I wouldn't have thought it would be so hard, even for out-of-print works, given that they are supposedly copyrighted for life ... unless the copyright ownership was in question.

Anyway, publishing intrigue is alive and well and shouting all over the place and across formats and platforms.

This from Barbara Casassus as reported in TheBookSeller.com:

La Martinière and Google sign agreement

French publisher La Martinière has dropped its legal action against Google and signed an agreement with it to scan specified out-of-print French language titles.

The publisher was locked in a five-year long legal battle against Google for having digitised copyrighted books without permission. The pact is similar to the one finalised last month with Hachette Livre, which was aimed to serve as a model for other French houses.

The difference is that La Martinière and Google will draw up a catalogue including both the titles already scanned in partnership with American libraries and those to be covered by the latest deal, a Google France spokesperson said. The publisher will decide which titles will be withdrawn and which will be scanned.

Several thousand titles could be involved, La Martinière c.e.o. Hervé de La Martinière said. The group will be able to sell the scanned books through the Google e-books platform on a revenue-sharing basis, with the publisher earning the undisclosed majority share, the Google spokesperson added.

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